What Happens When You Have a Confessional Speaker at a District Sponsored Stewardship Conference the First Week of Summer? by Pr. Rossow

What happens is you get a great turnout. Confessional guys are just as hungry for good conferences as the Church Growth boys but they just rarely get a docket that is worth their time. The Northern Illinois District (NID) is putting on a stewardship conference today with a confessional speaker and sure enough, there is a great turnout even though it is the first week of summer.

NID Bishop Gilbert introduced the topic and speaker by openly admitting it was pure nepotism. The speaker is his son-in-law Rev. Heath Curtis from downstate Illinois. 56 pastors and laity turned out to hear Rev. Curtis talk about a stewardship crisis that he faced when he arrived at the dual parish he serves now and how he faced it with teaching on what the church is about, promoting the use of the tithe, pledge cards, the table of duties from the Small Catechism and other tactics.

Curtis admits he is a very unlikely seminar leader on stewardship but also admits that he and other confessional pastors overlook the importance of instructing the congregation on various important Scriptural matters including stewardship. One of the many memorable quotes was on the use of the tithe. “If the Jews, known for their parsimony, can live under the requirement of a tithe then certainly we Christians should have no problem with it.”

The seminar has been very helpful. I and others in attendance have benefited from Curtis’ no nonsense approach to stewardship and have enjoyed a morning’s worth of a look into the life of a practicing confessional pastor.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


What Happens When You Have a Confessional Speaker at a District Sponsored Stewardship Conference the First Week of Summer? by Pr. Rossow — 7 Comments

  1. Sounds fantastic – I wish I could have been there. I have never understood why some are reticent to teach about tithing. Of course we are not “required” to tithe – any more than we are “required” to follow any of the law. And law-filled admonitions to tithe will always fall short of creating new behavior. But in response to God’s love and grace, why wouldn’t we seek his will and “best practices” for our finances, including the practice of setting aside the first 10% for his work through our local storehouse – the church? I’m glad you guys were able to host this, Tim, and again wish I could have found a way to come…

  2. Having just arrived home from the conference (the proof is in the picture; I’m the guy with the red plaid shirt and the big bald spot in the last row), I am really happy that I went. Pastor Curtis spoke on stewardship, pledge cards, etc., but he put it into the context of holistic pastoral ministry. Scripture and Confessions references abound in this workship. Well done presentation on a challenging topic.

  3. Can I find the presenatation Rev Curtis gave? I enjoy the topic, realize it is difficult, but have wonderful and faithful laity assisting me in teaching the biblical concept.

  4. Stewardship under the Cross is the best book I’ve yet read on stewardship. Helpful in every way, especially in that you know and trust the one delivering the message.

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